D4 Interconnects

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jgb0194

D4 Interconnects
« on: 21 Aug 2014, 07:56 pm »
I want to welcome Dave to Audio Circle and give totally unsolicited kudos for his world class D4 interconnects.

I've had a balanced pair in use from DAC to linestage for a month now. I was so impressed that I bought an RCA-terminated pair to run from linestage to monoblock amps. They have been in use for two weeks now. For context, my signal chain is an Accustic Arts Drive 2 >> K&K Audio DAC using Sonus Veritas Modena alpha test boards >> K&K Audio linestage preamplifier using Sonus Veritas Genoa beta test board >> CAT JL-1 LE monoblocks.

The D4 interconnects capture that elusive magic of "body and soul" without any loss of low level detail. Most cables I've used skew toward one or the other of these attributes. The D4s throw a holographic soundstage with true depth in my system, as well.

Dave's patience in answering my questions epitomizes the best customer service. He's a cool guy - which is my highest personal recommendation.

I'm saving my pennies for his loudspeaker cables, maybe a nice year end bonus to self...

I am so grateful I happened upon Dave's website and wish him much success with ZenWave.

John

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #1 on: 22 Aug 2014, 03:24 am »
Hi John, Thanks for the post! I'm really happy with how the D4s turned out and I'm glad they worked for you.   :thumb:

The SMSG silver/gold speaker cables sound just like the D4 IC cables, which was the goal. I wish the speaker cables could be a little closer in price to the ICs, but they use a lot more wire!


Stercom

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #2 on: 22 Aug 2014, 10:09 am »
The D4 interconnects capture that elusive magic of "body and soul" without any loss of low level detail. Most cables I've used skew toward one or the other of these attributes. The D4s throw a holographic soundstage with true depth in my system, as well.
That has been my experience with the D4s as well! Keep us up-to-date on your system!

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #3 on: 30 Aug 2014, 04:33 pm »
Let me also link to your review in the cable review section of AC, Stercom... IDK how you snuck that in without me seeing it!  :green:  But thanks!  :thumb:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=127507.0

werd

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #4 on: 30 Aug 2014, 07:44 pm »
Have these in xlr on borrow from Dave. They're snazzy and extremely versatile. He claims to make neutral cables i would say they are just that. I only have one pair so its hard to offer a complete loom sound. I am using Empirical audio from pre to power and D4s dac to preamp.


Stercom

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #5 on: 1 Sep 2014, 01:33 am »
Let me also link to your review in the cable review section of AC, Stercom... IDK how you snuck that in without me seeing it!  :green:  But thanks!  :thumb:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=127507.0
Yeah, AC is a great forum. Just wanted to get the word out on the D4s.  I'm still kind of amazed how good they are!

maxima95

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #6 on: 1 Sep 2014, 01:28 pm »
Zenwave Audio/Dave's Cables D4 RCA Digital Cable

While listening to (and enjoying) the D4 RCA IC's, I recalled Dave having told me that a few listeners liked the D4 as a digital cable – better than some very expensive ones.  So I tried one between the transport and DAC.  I was prepared for a one-song session.  I had tried other very good analog IC's as digital cables only to have them “smoked” by various coaxial digital cables.

When I played the first song with the D4 I thought: WHAT?  There was more foundation to the music. Coherence improved, staging was wider and deeper, detail improved and the presentation was smoother.  I listened for a few more days.

I consulted Dave as to how a non-shielded, non-coaxial, stranded cable sounded as good as it did with digital.  After going back and forth, I knew that only the sound mattered; not the construction.

So I bought one.

(Transport) April Music Stello CDT 100; (DAC) Teac UD-501; (Preamp) BAT VK-3i; (Power Amp) Llano Trinity 200 Hybrid; (Speakers) Gamut Phi 7
Cables:(Speaker) Morrow Audio; (Analog-RCA) Zenwave DD w/Duelund 2.0; (Analog-XLR) Shunyata Aries; (Power Cords) Triode Wire Labs 7 & 8+; Lessloss DFPC Original; Zenwave PL

jonbee

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #7 on: 21 Nov 2014, 07:17 pm »
The D4 interconnects capture that elusive magic of "body and soul" without any loss of low level detail. Most cables I've used skew toward one or the other of these attributes. The D4s throw a holographic soundstage with true depth in my system, as well.
I got a set of balanced D4s to demo from Dave last week. I had been using D3s for my one analog cable, (NAD M51-> Hypex N-core NC-400s) position, and had been very pleased with them- best I'd used, and I've used dozens of models over these many decades.
I had decided in advance that I would try the D4 demos and do a write up on them for Dave, but not get sucked into forking out $900+ to get a pair for some modest improvement.
Well, that plan lasted less than 5 minutes when I swapped the D4s in and reality intervened. I knew they were not leaving my system.
What a sound! To me, these ICs, in conjunction with my newly acquired Wywires Platinum SCs, have got me to the holy grail of 2 channel sound, in the neighborhood with the very best I've heard at any price.
John's reaction above describes it very well. Performers right in the room in a most intimate and lifelike way, on all types of music. Even mediocre recordings get a new lease on life. An ideal musical balance of traits. Scary good.
We spend a lot on amps, DACS, cartridges, etc. in this hobby. The refinement the D4s brought to my already fine system is on a par with a major component upgrade. It's always exciting to find something that really gels the musical experience.
Dave's demo program is a good way to get a taste for yourself, but be prepared. I found these things to be addictive.
FYI-the main chain in my big rig: Windows 7 PC w/JRiver 19->Revelation Audio twin conduit USB->Musical Fidelity V-link192->Wireworld Gold Starlight 7 AES/EBU->NADM51->D4->tweaked NCore->Wywire Platinum->Daedalus DA-RMA V2/ James Audio EMB-1000 sub.

jonbee

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #8 on: 3 Dec 2014, 03:33 pm »
I got my pair of D4s a few days ago. I ordered them with the upgrade Furutech CF XLRs, which are rhodium plated instead of the mix Dave uses with the standard Furutech connectors.
With the CF connectors, the sound is a bit more focused and dynamic yet- not hugely so but noticeable. Slightly more top end energy too. A bit livelier overall.
This works for my system just fine. I feel with the D4s I'm finally getting the soundstage depth, width, height and ambience retrieval I'd been looking for. Not cheap, but they do deliver.

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #9 on: 3 Dec 2014, 04:26 pm »
Hi John, thanks for your thoughts! The CF series XLRs are now standard, there is a modest price increase but I feel it's worth it... the resonant properties of the CF bodies combined with Furutech's rhodium plating make for a great sounding connector and the strain relief is a bit more solid. Here's a couple pics:




jgb0194

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #10 on: 11 May 2015, 04:33 am »
Well, I've finally placed my order for a pair of SMSG speaker cables to complete my ZenWave loom.

I'll share impression s in a few weeks.

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #11 on: 13 May 2015, 06:35 pm »
Well, I've finally placed my order for a pair of SMSG speaker cables to complete my ZenWave loom.

I'll share impression s in a few weeks.

They are in progress now! 374.4 feet of OCC silver/gold alloy wire will be made into two 4.5' speaker cables.  :green:

Tomy2Tone

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #12 on: 13 May 2015, 09:04 pm »
They are in progress now! 374.4 feet of OCC silver/gold alloy wire will be made into two 4.5' speaker cables.  :green:

Now thats just crazy!!  :D

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #13 on: 22 May 2015, 03:40 pm »
Now thats just crazy!!  :D

It's a good amount of work for sure. And while these cables are not cheap, they are cheaper than the retail cost of materials!

The cables are done and on the Cable Cooker, jgb!  :D

jgb0194

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #14 on: 31 May 2015, 11:44 pm »
What follows are my impressions of the ZenWave SMSG 14 ga loudspeaker cables. They have been in my system for about a week and I've done some critical listening since. Every component review is, in essence, a full system review with that component now in place. For context, I've entered my system and gallery pics on to the Audio Circle database. Every component review also occurs in the context of one's musical material, listening volume and "system presentation/flavoring" (for lack of better words) preferences.  My favorite music encompasses acoustic jazz of the '50-'60s, electric jazz of the '60s-'70s and rock of the '60s-'80s. I listen at an average volume of 65-70dB at the sofa. I have biased my system toward very low distortion electrical and passive components, to best hear even the softest accompaniment of ensemble performers and subtlest nuances of layered tracks mixed by the recording engineers. Experience with (too) many evolutions of my system over 15 years has taught me that this approach, at its best, connects me most strongly with the performers and their music. The connection reaches me emotionally, cerebrally and  (yes, even at my listen volumes) viscerally depending on the music. That connection, at its strongest, provides one of the most treasured reminders to me of why I am on this rock.

The SMSG cables are truly "high fidelity" components in the old school definition of the term. Some of you may, like me, remember reading that term on record jackets as a kid when you listened on your $25 "all components in one" record plaver. It didn't mean anything to me back then as the heavy needle wore the grooves. For those with real music systems in the '60s I suppose it did, as it does to me now: musical fidelity = faithfulness to the recordings made both in studios and at live venues.

How we and our systems handle the "truth" is quite another matter. In my home, the SMSG cables keep company with (deliberately-chosen) very low distortion components. Room treatments and the Rives PARC limit the room-imposed degradations. My modest listening volume limits amp clipping. This allows me to say that the SMSG cables better my last two loudspeaker cables (Klee Grand Illusion and Kubala Sosna Fascination) in two important respects: preservation of softest inner details and clarity of instruments/voices within the sound field. Most of my music was created in recording studios, and I want to hear what the artists and engineers committed to the lp/cd. Some recordings are small combo "right/left/center" jazz mixes, but others are quite layered with instruments and voices of wide-ranging volumes. Ever get taken by a great accompaniest's contribution to an out front solo or a by beautiful vocal harmony, but struggled to hear it well?  I have, and it's not audiophile nitpicking. When I can hear such things clearly, the performance takes on a virtual reality that IS "high fidelity" in the old school definition of the term. It is what most strongly connects me with the music. it allows me to let the whole musical performance wash over me, or to explore what each musician is doing at any given time if i I'm so inclined. On densely-layered tracks I can better understand what the artists and recording engineers were trying to convey.

Examples from my musical library:

- "Psychicemotus", Yusef Lateef - A small combo jazz album that is impeccably-recorded. No instrumental music I own has more heart and soul than this. Several tracks feature very quiet moments and startling dynamics that the SMSG cables handle so well. The acoustic bass work is particularly integral to a few of the quieter tracks, and Mr. Workman's subtle inflections are a joy to hear, as is Yusef's flute playing.

- "Straight Ahead" , Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - A collection of fairly densely-layered electric jazz/rock music, another timeless classic. Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin on Sunset" is interpreted beautifully. Brian's B4 Hammond playing always soothes the mind, but I now hear the synthesizer layers so distinctly.  At times two synth tracks float above the organ anchored at center. Good stuff.

- "Free as the Wind", The Crusaders - I tend not to connect with music that contains background strings because, I think, it reminds me of too many syrupy pop tracks that are not for me. A few tracks on this lp use background strings and brass very tastefully, on beautiful musical pieces that couldn't work otherwise. The SMSG cables allow these layers to arrive, stay and depart distinctly and sweetly. Larry Carlton's guitar is very nice on this lp, but a second git (Dean Parks) is also credited. Listening to the track, "Sweet'n Sour", I can now hear both guitarists filling during Wilton Felder's sax solo. The git at right center is further down in the mix, but adds nice fills!

- Call of the West", Wall of Voodoo - Known by many only for the single "Mexican Radio", the lp is filled with beautiful, though melancholy, stories sung within a densely-layered sound field (the "wall", that Stanford Ridgeway tried to create a la Phil Spector). Being electric/synth and a bit compressed, the "wall" has sounded muddy to me in the past. Not so with the SMSG cables in place, in fact, now easy to immerse in even when the going gets complex and out front.


In an already bright system, the SMSG cables may not fit, but only because they preserve so much detail. They are incredibly neutral and certainly don't sugar coat the music - but  I've long since learned the futility of trying to cure bad recordings with system changes. Better to approach high fidelity with one's system as best one can, and experience the recordings for what they are.

Hope this helps those considering Dave's cables. I now have a full set of D4 and SMSG cables in my system. They are world class.

John
« Last Edit: 1 Jun 2015, 12:52 am by jgb0194 »

DaveC113

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #15 on: 1 Jun 2015, 01:22 am »
Thanks for your thorough review and insight into your musical priorities.  :thumb:

It sounds like we're on the same page as far as the pursuit of high fidelity, and I'm happy my cables were able to help you achieve it.  :D

I think the quote below is key, people struggle with it all the time...

"I've long since learned the futility of trying to cure bad recordings with system changes. Better to approach high fidelity with one's system as best one can, and experience the recordings for what they are."

Poor recordings don't bother me too much, but I'm sure everyone has a different tolerance. The problem with adjusting your system to sound better on bad recordings is it will smooth out good recordings too and make them less enjoyable as a result. I'd rather hear the warts on bad recordings and also hear the full fidelity of good recordings.

I suppose a "warmifier" could be (easily) built to warm up and smooth out harsh recordings... but it would be at the price of another set of IC cables, jacks and a switch so it can't be completely sonically neutral. But for those who listen to rough recordings and can't tolerate hearing it "warts and all" it may be a solution...


jgb0194

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #16 on: 1 Jun 2015, 04:59 am »
I agree, Dave. I enjoy everything in my musical library for the music itself. I prefer to experience the beauty of the best recordings to the fullest, and trade off not sugar-coating the lesser quality recordings. Heck, back in the day I'd bootleg NYC venue concerts on a small mono Panasonic cassette boom box using the little built in mic. Security would let me carry it in not even noticing the mic opening on the face. 300-3000 Hz stuff that I'd enjoy because I enjoyed the show itself. Music first.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #17 on: 1 Jun 2015, 10:47 am »
John,

Thanks for the review. And thank you for delineating your system details on the "Systems" page, it really helps with placing your review in context. It's also nice to see you appreciate room treatment.

Best,
Anand.

jgb0194

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #18 on: 2 Jun 2015, 05:58 pm »
Yes, Anand, room treatments make a real difference. Simply treating first reflections is relatively inexpensive. Room bass peak nodes are also worth mitigating. The Rives PARC outperforms full round traps in my room, as I'd really also need  90Hz Helmholz for a huge peak if I stayed passive. The woofers I chose for my loudspeakers also are a bit too sensitive relative to the mids/tweets, and the PARC does a great job in dropping the excess energy between 125 and 400Hz that is a loudspeaker (not room) anomaly.

jgb0194

Re: D4 Interconnects
« Reply #19 on: 2 Jun 2015, 06:01 pm »
p.s. I want to avoid "A>D/D>A" conversion for my vinyl lps, so I'll only move along to DSP  for room and loudspeaker correction once the PARC fails.